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Books on the Old Rite #285930
04/10/08 01:43 PM
04/10/08 01:43 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,564
Dublin
F
Fr Serge Keleher Offline OP
Member
Fr Serge Keleher  Offline OP
Member
F
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,564
Dublin
Someone sent me a PM asking for information on this topic. Alas; for those who don't read Russian and Church-Slavonic there is precious little (which is still more than nothing).

I think that most of us are aware of the Old Orthodox Prayer Book from Erie, so I shan't discuss it for the moment. A bit of caution; that parish has published an Octoechos with music both in kriuki and in what is currently standard notation. But there is a problem; this parish is from the Pomortsy tradition (almost everyone else of the Pomortsy is priest-less). Over the centuries, their chant has developed significant differences from the znammeny chant retained in the Old Ritualist Orthodox Church. But take heart; there are some CDs available from the Old Ritualist Orthodox Church which can be helpful.

By far the most important study available in English is Paul Meyendorff's Russia, Ritual, and Reform. He makes use of many sources which are very nearly inaccessible, and demonstrates very well that Nikon's "Reform" was - as the Old Rtualists have always maintained - nothing but a wooden translation of the Greek books which had just been published in Venice and Rome, and into which no critical study whatever had been done. Meyendorff gives a rather detailed discussion of the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, contrasting the Old Rite with the Nikonian version. It's not perfect (nothing ever is), but it certainly repays a careful reading. I've not heard of any translation into Russian, which rather surprises me. Annoyingly, those Church-Slavonic texts which he supplies are given in a Latin transliteration - and at the very end of the book he tries to cut the apple in two, so to speak, by a very weak, half-hearted defense of the Nikonian reform.

Otherwise, I'm in the midst of preparing a book - in English - giving a survey of the materials currently in print and published or distributed by the Russian Old Ritualist Orthodox Church. I hope that this will be of some help.

Father Serge

Re: Books on the Old Rite [Re: Fr Serge Keleher] #285932
04/10/08 02:12 PM
04/10/08 02:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,461
Kansas/UGCC
Diak Offline
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Diak  Offline
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Posts: 7,461
Kansas/UGCC
Robson's Old Believers in Modern Russia is worth noting. There are several interesting books on the diasporal movement of Old Ritulaists/Old Believers, including In the Shadow of Antichrist (Canadian diaspora) and A Story of Nikolaevsk (Alaska).
FDRLB

Re: Books on the Old Rite [Re: Diak] #285992
04/11/08 12:57 PM
04/11/08 12:57 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 779
Wales
F
Fr Mark Offline
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Fr Mark  Offline
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Wales

Silent as Waters We Live: Old Believers in Russia and Abroad (Studia Fennica) by Juha Y. Pentikainen (Paperback - 1 Jan 2000)

This is an excelent study, all be it from a socio-ethnographic point of view. It is very informative, covering the whole range of Old Belief, both priestly and priestless.

Regarding the comments concerning the Erie octoechos, we shouldn't underestimate the diversity of chant even within the priestly tradition, let alone the bezpopvschina.

The people in Erie largely use lesser znamenny chant, but this is also very common in priestly congregations lacking anyone able to read kriuki or lacking experienced singers (not that this is a problem in Erie). In both Tsarist and Soviet times many communities relied on the oral transmission of chant and it consequently became simplified. This is true of priestly and priestless communities. There are many local variants of Old Believer chants just as there were variants in chants, liturgical texts and practices before the raskol forced an artificial rush uniformity onto Old Ritualist Christians. Also, it is worth noting that chanting is often far more refined and carefully executed by the priestless Old Believers, who would be horrified by some of the chanting in priestly communities. However... this is a digression.

Spasi Khristos - Mark, monk and sinner.

Re: Books on the Old Rite [Re: Fr Mark] #286006
04/11/08 04:06 PM
04/11/08 04:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,564
Dublin
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Fr Serge Keleher Offline OP
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Fr Serge Keleher  Offline OP
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Dublin
It seems that the Lipovan (mostly Romania) tradition of chant is also rather different from that used in Russia and Ukraine - it would be nice to have some CDs of the variants in the same pieces.

Fr. Serge

Re: Books on the Old Rite [Re: Fr Serge Keleher] #287143
04/22/08 11:40 PM
04/22/08 11:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 7
Illinois
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Gabriel4580 Offline
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Illinois
I know this is a late add, but having read quite a few works in English, I thought I would toss a few more suggestions into the pot.

R. Robson - Old Believers in Modern Russia
- I would encourage most people to start here since Robson gives an unusually evenhanded--even sympathetic--account of the Old Believers. As the title implies, it is less comprehensive on the cause of dissent in the Russian Church and much more concerned with what became of the Old Believers in the 20th Century. For lack of a better term, it's a good "gateway" text on the Old Belief.

P. Meyendorff - Russia, Ritual, & Reform
- This is another easy book to recommend, though those less concerned about the technical nitty-gritties of the liturgical changes themselves may not have much interest in the second half of the book. Meyendorff still operates largely under the historicist cloud of his mentor, Fr. A. Schmemann, and so his analysis is ideologically marred at points. The opening chapters discussing the true nature of the Nikonain reforms are most illuminating, however.

K. Brostrom - Archpriest Avvakum: The Life...
- While there are a few translations of the Archpriest Avvakum's Life out there, this one still stands above the rest for its fidelity to Avvakum's style and the fact it's unabbreviated. (I say this with full knowledge that there has been and still remains a lack of scholarly consensus on which version of Avvakum's Life is closest to the one he actually wrote.) The annotations are extremely helpful for getting a proper sense of the social, political, and cultural backdrop to the Archpriest's long, but hard, life. Some of Brostrom's cynicism in his closing essay can be vexing, though it hardly detracts from the power of the translation itself.

M. Ziolkowski - Tale of the Boiarynia Morozova
- This is another good primary text to consult in order to get an understanding of the Old Believers, their history, and their Saints. In addition to presenting a translation of the Boiarynia's life, this text also includes the Archpriest Avvakum's "Lament" after Morozova's martyrdom along with correspondence between the two. What is far more problematic about this text is Ziolkowski's ideological rubbish which attempts to impose thoroughly modern feminist categories anachronistically on Morozova's own struggles and outlook. Any careful reading of the actual text and the accompanying letters should reveal the limitations of Ziolkowski's "interpretation."

I. Paert - Old Believers, Religious Dissent and Gender...
- This book is largely a mixed bag of interesting historical information tucked inbetween poor writing and pedestrian analysis. At the same time, given the general lack of fresh information on the Old Believers in English, it is worth taking a bit of time to mine this book for some broader background on Old Believer domestic life.

R. Crummey - Old Believers and the World of Antichrist...
- In some ways, this is a "classic" text of English-language Old Believer scholarship. The historical material is presented clearly, honestly, and without pretension. The book narrows its focus to the Vyg community after the first two chapters, though anyone trying to get a grasp of Old Believer history really can't do without it.

D. Scheffel - In the Shadow of Antichrist...
- This is a very narrow study of a priestless Old Believer community in Alberta, Canada. The author's terminological mistakes can bit a little annoying, but it's by no means a rotten read. I would simply recommend consulting this after exhausting the materials cited above.

O. Tarasov - Icon and Devotion
- This work is a bit of a deviation from direct Old Believer studies, but its academic interpretations of Russian iconography from the sixteenth century onward cannot help but place a great deal of emphasis on the Russian reforms and the subsequent fallout. Beautifully illustrated, the book may still not be for everyone--especially if you're the type to be nauseated by academic pedantry. If you have a bit of patience, however, it's well worth the read.

Re: Books on the Old Rite [Re: Fr Serge Keleher] #365397
06/11/11 09:49 AM
06/11/11 09:49 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 388
Cleveland, Ohio
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Polish American Offline
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Cleveland, Ohio
Originally Posted by Fr Serge Keleher
Someone sent me a PM asking for information on this topic. Alas; for those who don't read Russian and Church-Slavonic there is precious little (which is still more than nothing).

I think that most of us are aware of the Old Orthodox Prayer Book from Erie, so I shan't discuss it for the moment. A bit of caution; that parish has published an Octoechos with music both in kriuki and in what is currently standard notation. But there is a problem; this parish is from the Pomortsy tradition (almost everyone else of the Pomortsy is priest-less). Over the centuries, their chant has developed significant differences from the znammeny chant retained in the Old Ritualist Orthodox Church. But take heart; there are some CDs available from the Old Ritualist Orthodox Church which can be helpful.

By far the most important study available in English is Paul Meyendorff's Russia, Ritual, and Reform. He makes use of many sources which are very nearly inaccessible, and demonstrates very well that Nikon's "Reform" was - as the Old Rtualists have always maintained - nothing but a wooden translation of the Greek books which had just been published in Venice and Rome, and into which no critical study whatever had been done. Meyendorff gives a rather detailed discussion of the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, contrasting the Old Rite with the Nikonian version. It's not perfect (nothing ever is), but it certainly repays a careful reading. I've not heard of any translation into Russian, which rather surprises me. Annoyingly, those Church-Slavonic texts which he supplies are given in a Latin transliteration - and at the very end of the book he tries to cut the apple in two, so to speak, by a very weak, half-hearted defense of the Nikonian reform.

Otherwise, I'm in the midst of preparing a book - in English - giving a survey of the materials currently in print and published or distributed by the Russian Old Ritualist Orthodox Church. I hope that this will be of some help.

Father Serge


Father,

Have you completed and published the book you were writing? Are there any other books or articles on Old Believers which you wrote and can refer us to?

Thank you.


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